During TodaysArt festival in The Hague Sphæræ emerges radiantly in front of the city hall where the ArtScience Interfaculty and Synergetica Lab present a series of tailor-made performances open to both festival goers and the general public. Travelling along its membrane and out beyond the black cover are acoustic and multi-sensory compositions that together form a shape-shifting and wide ranging set of experiences in the best of ancient nomadic traditions and current art-science practices.
With works by Martijn van Boven (NL), Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand (BY/NL), Cocky Eek (NL), Theun Karelse (NL), Francisco López (NL/SP), Bas van Koolwijk (NL), Robert Curgenven (AUS), Nenad Popov, Paul Prudence (UK), Erfan Abdi (NL), Joris Strijbos & Yamila Rios (NL), Dieter Vandoren (BE) & Mariska de Groot (NL).
Festival website: //todaysart.nl
An overview of the performances is presented below:
Hantu Hilang by Francisco López (NL/SP)
‘Hantu Hilang’ (Malaysian for ‘Lost Ghost’) is a new sculptural sonic piece created and developed specifically for the Sphæræ inflatable biomorphic pavilion. It consists of an invisible matrix of subtle sonic materials projected and reflected into the pavilion by means of an ad hoc portable and autonomous surround sound system with 16 tiny speakers. This system is to be arranged as a temporarily built-in system in the pavilion, using the largest arc of the structure to surround an audience congregated inside it.This particular sound system is battery-operated and laptop-controlled, and does not require any additional equipment or conditions. This allows its implementation in any conditions of installation of the pavilion, including the most extreme situation of no power available. The sonic materials are thorough evolutions of original real sound environments into extreme sonic “distilled threads” of mid and high frequencies, with a consequent “ghostly” or “aethereal” character. These are adapted to the technical characteristics of the peculiar speaker system used and “compositionally” structured as sonic sculptural elements in the space of the pavilion. The realization of the piece can be either automated or controlled in real time.
Shadow Puppet? by Dieter Vandoren and Mariska de Groot (NL)
‘Shadow Puppet?’ presents an interplay of embodied performance and analog machinery that gives rise to an engulfing play of light, shadow and raw optical sound. Two performers – one behind the machines and one in the spotlights – play this light-to-sound instrument in a dynamic tension of attraction and repulsion. It’s never quite clear who is conducting who.
Hydro-Acoustic Study by Paul Prudence (UK)
‘Hydro-Acoustic Study’ is a cinematic exploration of sonically activated hydrological events, speciﬁcally evolving waveforms, protocellular bubbles, and meniscusʼs that grow and exhibit behavior in direct response to sound.
Radial by Erfan Abdi (NL)
Erfan about his ‘Radial’ piece in Sphaerae: “Lines that cross to make dots, with sounds of drones and micro-tones, improvised on Notesaaz, and seen from within the Sphaerae. You are invited to see and hear. Now that you know the language, here is a story.”
Runaway AV by Bas van Koolwijk (NL)
Once set in motion, the performer’s software gradually gains independence, while the performer, on the other hand, gradually loses control over the processes which he initially directed. The result is a runaway process whereby the system continues to develop a growing complexity.
10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid by Evelina Domnitch, Dmitry Gelfand (NL)
In ’10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid’, Domnitch and Gelfand use laser light to scan the surfaces of nucleating and dissipating soap bubble clusters. Unlike ordinary light, the laser’s focused beam is capable of crawling through the micro and nano structures within a bubble’s skin. When aimed at specific angles, this penetrating light generates a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as mind-boggling phenomena of non-linear optics. Bubble behaviors viewed in such proximity evoke the dynamics of living cells (the lipid membranes of which, are direct chemical descendants of soap film).
Covex by Joris Strijbos, Yamila Rios (NL)
‘COVEX’ is a collaboration between composer and sound artist Yamila Rios and visual artist Joris Strijbos. In this audio visual performance the duo researches the relations between electro-acoustic sound and diffracted light-patterns in a diagonal mixage between the two media. The sonic output consist of a live performance with an extended cello. The output of the instrument is used to create a mass of sound which morphs from a complex noisy environment of fast fragmented textures to a serene and harmonic drone. While a overall collapse of tempi within sound-structures is manifested, the sound of the cello is being revealed. Within the visual domain, a meticulous constellation is formed by shooting laser beams trough transparent objects. By doing this an effect known as the “speckle pattern” occurs, resulting in abstract landscapes of detailed colour patterns and dynamic evolving shapes.
They tore the earth and, like a scar, it swallowed them [space-shifted portable version] by Robert Curgenven (AUS)
‘They tore the earth and, like a scar, it swallowed them’ is a very physical negotiation of territories voided by history, rendered via field recordings gathered over 10 years in over 30 remote locations across Australia alongside new work with pipe organ, guitar feedback, dubplates, turntables and low frequency oscillators. Amidst the heat and the dust, in a landscape populated only by the insinuation of characters, settler colonialists’ blind enactment of will and violence against and into an unforgiving, arid interior is manifestation of a mortal struggle.
Sonata for Convolution and Feedback by Nenad Popov (NL)
‘Sonata for Convolution and Feedback’ is an audio-visual composition in the classical form of sonata performed live on the custom-build instrument. Out of the simple interaction of pixels repeated thousands of times Escheresque tilings emerge, dancing on the fringe between dimensions.
On Growth and Data by Martijn van Boven (NL)
The simple system of a closed feedback loop is developed, transformed, mutated, translated and after each iteration, it is mirrored and compared with real life strings of biological data available through online databases such as Genbank. In its most ideal situation during one performance the initial system transforms into a computer generated form equivalent to the fingerprint of animals or plants.
supported b: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Mondriaan Fund, The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie